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In the news: Yum earnings beat, regulators are skeptical about T-Mobile, Sprint deal

Headlines for Tuesday include earnings from Yum Brands, a positive drug-trial result from Pfizer, a computer problem with a Polish Dreamliner, regulators throwing shade at the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile and Walmart's Canadian expansion plans.

Yum Brands

Restaurant operator Yum Brands (YUM) said Monday that it earned 70 cents per share in the fourth quarter, or 86 cents per share on an adjusted basis. Analysts had expected the company to earn 79 cents per share. Revenue was $4.18 billion, compared to estimates for $4.26 billion. The company said sales in restaurants in China, where it gets half of its revenue, fell by 4 percent in the quarter, including a 4 percent drop at KFC stores and a 5 percent increase at Pizza Hut restaurants.

Pfizer

Drug-maker Pfizer (PFE) was among the few stocks to move higher on Monday after results of a midstage study of a treatment for advanced breast cancer met its main goal.  The combination of the experimental drug, palbociclib, and another drug, letrozole, increased the time that patients survived without tumor growth compared to treatment with letrozole alone. The drug is designed for post-menopausal women whose tumors have certain characteristics that are found in about 60 percent of advanced breast cancer cases, giving the drug a large potential market if it is approved.

Boeing

Polish airline LOT was forced to cancel a flight from Warsaw to Toronto on Monday after a computer malfunctioned on a Boeing (BA) 787 Dreamliner. Passengers were moved to another airplace for the flight. A spokeswoman for the airline said the onboard computer had to be restarted just before takeoff and since a restart and the various system checkups that follow such a restart take several hours, passengers were moved to another plane.

T-Mobile

Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, expressed skepticism about the proposed merger of T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint in a meeting with Sprint's chairman on Monday. An FCC official briefed on the matter said that Masayoshi Son, Sprint's chairman and the company's CEO, Dan Hesse, met with telecommunications regulators. Wheeler said he would keep an open mind about the deal, but said he was skeptical about the deal. Wheeler generally expressed the same sentiment as antitrust chief William Baer, who said last week that the deal faces a relatively slim chance of gaining regulatory approval.

Walmart

Retailer Walmart (WMT) said Tuesday that it plans to invest about $500 million in its Canadian operations this year. The company company said it will create 7,500 jobs with the investment, including construction jobs. The company will spend $376 million for store projects and another $91 million to improved its capability to distribute fresh foods and $32 million on e-commerce.

 

Bobby Raines

Bobby Raines is the Managing Editor of the Market Intelligence Center. He has degrees in Mass Communications and History from Emory & Henry College. Bobby worked at a mid-sized daily newspaper before making a switch to covering the financial industry full time in the years leading up to the financial crisis. He has been a member of the Fresh Brewed Media team since 2011 and has served as a writer and analyst. You can write to him at braines@marketintelligencecenter.com or follow him on Twitter: @BRatMICenter.